Advancing to the YorkRite Brotherhood of Craft Masonry
Continuing Your Travels - the American Path
The most prudent reason a Master Mason should advance beyond the third degree is for a deeper spiritual awakening towards his Masonic relevance. The Symbolic Lodge, as existing in this country today, uses only part of what was originally considered the complete teachings of the Lodge. On your journey through the three degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry and as you have learned the proficiency lecture for each degree, no doubt many questions have arisen concerning the meaning of the ritualistic ceremonies, the historical implications and the ‘why’ of the legends of Freemasonry.
As a Master Mason, you will recall that certain things were left undiscovered as you made your travels in and around the Temple of Solomon. The York Rite is the only way of discovering that which was lost, and reveals to the brother, in a most impressive manner, the true nature of his duties toward God, his neighbor and himself. The companionship and camaraderie which are established in the local Symbolic Lodge, are further strengthened and enriched by the additional light exposed to each member of the York Rite.
Although many erudite brethren have delved into the history and mysteries of Freemasonry no one has as yet determined the exact time the fraternity originated or where it first came into being.
Many believe the Sublime Degree of Master Mason to be the ultimate degree of Freemasonry and that all others are added and explanatory. Most students of Freemasonry agree that the blessings of the Craft as presented in the three degrees is incomplete and that the steps offered in the York Rite of Freemasonry complete the story and answer many of the questions in the mind of the newly made Master Mason.
A History of The York Rite
Freemasonry continued from the guilds of stonemasons and cathedral builders of the Middle Ages. With the decline of cathedral building, some lodges of operative (working) masons began to accept honorary members to continue brotherhood and membership. From a few of these lodges developed modern symbolic or speculative craft masons, which particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries adopted the rites and freindships of our ancient faith based orders and of chivalric brotherhoods.
Solomon's temple stood in Jerusalem for almost 400 years. It was the crown jewel of Jerusalem, and the center of worship to the Lord. Understanding the significance of its location, history, and design can greatly add to one's reverence for one of the most holy places in the world.